ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has opened registration for its 2009 Annual Conference and in doing so announced major changes for the 41-year-old event, which will be held Feb. 24-26, 2009 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Texas.

The first change in 2009 will be the Indoor Air Expo, which will be nearly twice the size as previous years, and will include exhibitors and attendees from the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), which will be holding its annual meeting at the same time ACCA conducts its annual conference. “It makes perfect sense and guarantees an unprecedented floor full of real decision-makers in contracting and IAQ,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO.

ACCA also surveyed its contractor members to determine what topics would be of the greatest interest in putting together the conference educational program.

According to Kevin Holland, ACCA vice president for business operations, “We don’t want to be just like every other conference out there. Instead we went to our contractor members, with a comprehensive survey, and they told us what they want to learn more about. Then we found real world experts - contractors and people who work in the trenches every day - to share their insights on these topics.”

Workshops being offered at the 2009 ACCA Conference include:

• Front-line Customer Service Strategies

• Hiring the Right People

• Commercial Service Agreements: Key to Success

• (Almost) 50 Ways to Find and Keep Good Employees

• PR Is Not Just for Big Companies: How to Get Free Press

• Managing Your Company with “Team Leaders”

• 10 Years from Now: The Successful Contractor of the “Near” Future

• Taking Your Service Agreement Program to the Next Level

• The Green Consumer: Who They Are, What They Want, and How to Sell to Them

• Strategies for Reducing Callbacks

• Managing Your Vehicles for Lower Costs

• Commercial Service Repair Estimating

• Identifying and Selling “Energy Savings” in Commercial Buildings

• “Cluster” Control: How to Dominate Your Market

• Verifying Quality Installation

• Retrofit Opportunities for the Commercial Service Contractor

• The HVACR Career Path: Building One for Your Employees

• Measuring Customer Satisfaction

• In-house Commercial Service Training

• Energy Analysis for Homeowners

• Performing Energy Audits for Existing Homes

• Maximize Your Profits with E-mail

• Pricing for Profit

At the conference opening general session, Eric Chester will provoke the audience to become better managers - and help stem the labor shortage that threatens so many contractors - by learning how to connect with younger generations. Chester says if you’re not connecting with them, they are not connecting with your customers, and you are leaving money on the table (and may soon find yourself without any workers to connect with at all). Chester is author ofGetting Them to Give a Damn: How to Get Your Front Line to Care About Your Bottom Line.

For more information and to register, visit

Publication date:08/18/2008